Monday, September 26, 2011

The Weekends Progress.

I was given the go ahead after lunch to the return to the shed on Saturday, so there was no stopping me! Below are some pictures of that progress over the weekend and how my construction method looks.

I used the templates you can download from Peco's site to plan my track work. After doing this I measured 35mm either side from centre, as that is the width of timber I am using for my risers, then cut with a circular saw.

The view from the Sydney end showing the cuts in the baseboard.

The risers nailed in place. I started about 20mm above the base board and kept it level through to the turntable and coal road. The road to Sydney has a slight grade in it. The theory here is to get the sound on the engines working hard as they exit the station.

The terminus showing the poly styrene that will fill the gap and allow me to carve the scenery below rail level. At this stage this yard will be quite flat. The plan is to get the track up at least 100-150 mm to get some real terrain in closer to the centre and the other end.

A over all view of the weekends accomplishments. The risers in the background are already at 50 mm above the baseboard.

The view from the turntable end. The turntable road is the short road in the centre. I hope to install the table into a pit.

To keep with true branchline status I intentionally nailed some risers low to give that undulation look in the rail. This is obvious in the picture as you can see the track bowing under the straight edge of the spirit level. I am also trying not to be to anal with the level as I don't want perfect track work. The only place I am trying to keep flat is the sidings, this is to prevent runaway wagons.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The construction begins

After not doing any travel for work in the last three weeks, I got a little stir crazy and decided it was time to clean out my shed since moving to the new house.

It all started out good until I thought I would duck down to Mitre 10 and have a look at prices on timber. Well I didn't know you could get non structural timber (35x75x2410) for $3 a length. The visit ended with me purchasing 25 lengths of timber, 3 packing sheets of MDF ($5 each) and a nail gun. Below is the end result of working a couple of hours each night after work. I guess you could say I got a little excited as the bench work was up within the first week. I also found that using the nail gun instead of screws sped up the process massively.

The layout has no track plan at this stage, just ideas of what I like about branch lines. Being that it is based on a branch line code 75 Peco will be used. To better represent a branch line I will pop out a few sleepers here and there, and try not to lay it too straight.

The decision to use peco over hand laid was easy as I have a friend doing hand laid and it is taking far too long to get operational and the points can be a little unreliable, also I want to enjoy my layout before I die. I love the look of hand laid track but the time saved on track work can be put into the scenery and if I put enough work into the scenery no one will notice the track.

The track will have grades in it and be roughly laid as a branch line would be. So the idea is to put the ply down on the base trace out where the track will be and cut out with a jigsaw. Then raise the track above the base at least 100mm to begin with then fill out with foam and shape.

The intended era will be prior to the demise of the branch lines. So most trains will be short and of the 4 wheel variety. Large grain trains will serve the silos and ballast trains the quarry. The stations will be derelict and overgrown.

The above photo is the terminus (44 class). It is based loosely on Boggabilla.

This section of track will be a grain complex. Boggabilla is in the background on the right.

Just a corner module. It will probably have a small passing loop before it with a PC1. A bridge will be on the short straight to the left.

Another straight section and corner module. I will put a quarry loader on the straight section to serve ballast trains.

The other end. For now it will be a terminus. The whole layout has been constructed with dismantling in mind. In future when we move to the "dream house" this end will come directly off a helix and the whole layout will be the top layer. The lower level will be a double tracked loop to run large trains. But for now I am taking small bites and building the layout in stages.